The Latest News About the Feel Free Energy Drink, The Problem With Dosing, How To Use Feel Free Properly & A New Feel Free Capsule That Solves Any Problems You May Have Had With Feel Free.

Affiliate Disclosure

The benefits and safety of Kratom and Kava
Biohacking, Body, Diet & Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Podcast, Podcast-new

Listen on:

Let's face it: this latest “Feel Free” craze fueled by a company called “Botanic Tonics” that seems to have been taking over the health world of late seems just a bit controversial.

In the podcast “The New Drinkable Euphoria Compound That Will Completely Transform The Energy Drink Industry“, I described why, if you've been paying attention to my social feed recently, you've no doubt seen me throwing back—nearly every day—a small blue bottle of absolutely euphoric, energizing goodness that is one of my favorite new discoveries of late for energy, workouts, sex, a better mood, and much, much more.

Inside the bottle is a tonic of plants from the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, a unique and potent blend of the earthy and spicy tones of the ancient tropical plants kava and kratom, along with refreshing pineapple juice, coconut, and premium sweet stevia leaves.

You drink it, you feel free. You crave stuff less. You can use it as a replacement for alcohol. Or energy drinks. Or nicotine. People get euphoric off the stuff.

So what's to worry about, right?

Problem is, since releasing that episode and also ranking Feel Free amongst my “Five Healthy Energy Shot” recommendations, I've gotten a lot of flack because some folks have reported upset stomach, a feeling of drunkenness or dizziness, addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and other problematic issues with Feel Free.

So in a recent podcast “Is Feel Free Energy Drink Bad For You?”, I dove into the safety profile of the stuff, why some people genetically can't handle the kratom component that well, why most people are probably overdosing on it, and a host of other issues related to the actual safety and proper use of Feel Free. Since that episode, I've learned something new about Feel Free…

…namely, many of the problematic issues have been solved by making a capsule version of Feel Free that has the exact 10 kava to 1 kratom ratio in the original product. Three capsules are equal to one serving of the tonic, which is 1/2 bottle. Many people who can't handle the whole bottle feel great with just one to three capsules, so now the dose of Feel Free can be titrated quite well.

The capsules don't have the mouth-numbing effect that the tonic does, and upon swallowing, they take about 30 minutes to elicit the desired effects (vs. the tonic, which hits in 10-15 min and numbs the mouth). I've given the new capsule formulation to several friends who “can't handle” the drink version of Feel Free and they absolutely love it, plus you can now travel with it without having to worry about the liquid in bottles, glass fragility of the bottles, etc., or about having to shake the bottle (let's face it: this stuff isn't cheap) to get every last bit of goodness out of the Feel Free bottle.

My guest on today's show is the inventor of Feel Free. His name is JW Ross, and he's a lifelong innovator and investor in the international business and financial world. Married for over 20 years, JW has two grown children who are also active in business and finance. JW currently lives and works in Santa Monica, California where he is an avid yoga practitioner.

Use code BEN for the capsules by clicking here. That gives you an automatic $40 discount on any purchase or any subscription of a bottle of 90 capsules or sachet servings of 6 capsules. Use code BEN40 for $40 off the drink or use this link to get the drink (discount automatically applied at checkout).

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-What is Feel Free?…05:53

-Inventor of Feel Free: JW Ross…09:52

-How JW transitioned from alcoholic drinking to formulating Feel Free…15:02

  • JW Ross was drinking alcoholically before he started studying plant medicines 
  • Self-medicating for a long time
  • Became very successful into his 40s but alcohol consumption was causing serious problems in his life
  • Intervention by family and friends
  • Dry drunk – couldn't function socially, basically isolating myself
  • Alcohol is junk food 
  • Microdosing is okay, like organic wines 
  • Dry Farm Wines
  • Had to look for something else or going to go back to taking alcohol again
  • Tried everything legal that was in the market but none of that worked
  • Traveled around Southeast Asia to find different plant medicines and learn how they were being used, tried mixing informally looking to get same feeling from alcohol
  • Finally found the right two plants, the right ratio – 10:1 of kava to kratom
  • The kava is from Vanuatu and the kratom is from Indonesia
  • Other ingredients:
    • Pineapple juice for the vitamin C
    • Coconut cream for better delivery of the fat-soluble compounds across the blood-brain barrier
    • Stevia lends a nice flavor
  • Previous podcast with JW Ross

-How they are dealing with customer feedback…23:09

  • Anything that makes you feel good can be habit-forming
  • JW consumed abusive levels for three months; no reported issues, no elevated blood, liver enzymes, blood sugars
  • Found out that the effects were not desirable at those levels; toxic even, sweet spot was when he consumed moderate doses
  • JW has been consuming it on a regular basis for almost four years now
  • Podcast with Cameron George:
  • Ben's feedback on taking a lot of kava in Hawaii
  • The alkaloids in kratom may be causing everything from constipation to stomach upset
  • Kion Coffee
  • Taking nootropics is the same
  • Important to educate the public and make them aware that you need to be careful with anything that makes you feel good
  • It's not about selling more, it's about trying to educate you to find out what works for you

-Why encapsulate the formula?…39:53

  • Incredibly successful for more than two years in the market
  • Some feedback:
    • Difficult to control dosage
    • Does not taste good
    • Numbing effect on the mouth
    • Some people experience nausea
  • The capsule form eliminated all the undesirable effects
  • One capsule is 1/6 of a serving of 1 bottle or 1/3 of a dosage (recommended dosage is 1/2 bottle)
  • Taking one capsule, or maybe two, is not even up to a full dosage but you already feel pretty good
  • Capsules don't have the other ingredients like coconut cream, stevia, and pineapple
  • Benefits of the capsule: 
    • No numbing effect
    • You get the Feel Free feeling 30 minutes after it bursts in your stomach (versus about 15 minutes with the tonic)
  • Capsules will come in a bottle that contains 90 capsules, or 30 servings
  • Packaged in a resealable pouch with 6 capsules in it; equal to a bottle of tonic
  • Feel Free capsules (code BEN applies $40 off the bottles with 90 capsules and 12-packs)

-Sourcing of the ingredients in Feel Free…46:29

  • Kratom and kava undergo extensive lab testing
    • It comes with certificates of analysis when purchased
    • There is also third-party testing with a nationally recognized lab
  • Check for everything
    • Pesticides
    • Heavy metals
    • Alkaloid ratios
  • Similar to cannabis, different strains of kratom have different effects, Feel Free checks alkaloid ratios because it's very similar to cannabis
  • There is a profile of about eight of the alkaloids and they make sure to stay in that band ratio percentage-wise because once you start getting out of that band, it's a different experience
  • Quality of kava from Vanuatu is way better than the kava from anywhere else
  • DNA profiling of the kava (DNA of plants is much more complex than that of humans)

-Certificate of analysis for the products…50:57

  • For additional information, like a Certificate of Analysis of the ingredients:

-Plans as far as launching additional products, additional formulas?…50:57

  • Launching in February or March next year is a non-kratom version of Feel Free
    • Just kava and 3 other fairly mainstream ingredients
  • Kava to kratom ratio in the capsule is 10:1
    • 250 mg of kava and 25 mg of the kratom

-Other products that combine well with Feel Free…52:46

-Additional information on Feel Free…56:09

  • American Kratom Association
  • A federal bill (the same as state bills) is being introduced later this month or next month
    • It sets contaminant levels, heavy metals, etc., within normal standards
    • Also will outlaw high-concentration extracts and synthetics

-And much more…

  • For the tonic:
    • Feel Free (BEN40 for $40 discount automatically applied at checkout)
  • For the capsule:

Upcoming Events:

  • Six Senses Retreat: February 27, 2023 – March 3, 2023

Join me for my “Boundless Retreat” at Six Senses from February 27th, 2023 to March 3rd, 2023, two improve your functional fitness, nutrition, longevity, and the delicate balance between productivity and wellness. Complete with a healthy farmhouse breakfast, yoga spa sessions, and sound healing, you will learn how to live a boundless life just like me, and I'd love to see you there. Learn more here.

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

JW Ross:

  • For the tonic:
    • Feel Free (BEN40 for $40 discount automatically applied at checkout)
  • For the capsule:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Other Resources:

Episode Sponsors:

BiOptimizers (MassZymes): MassZymes is a powerful best-in-class enzyme supplement that improves digestion, reduces gas and bloating, and provides relief from constipation. Go to and use code ben10 for 10% off your order. 

Joy Mode: Want to spice things up in the bedroom and boost your sexual performance? And do it naturally without nasty prescription drugs? We have a special offer for the Ben Greenfield audience. Go to or enter GREENFIELD at checkout for 20% off your first order. 

Clearlight Sauna: If you want to sweat buckets in the privacy of your own home, go to and use code: BEN for a discount and free shipping – the free shipping alone is a huge saving because these saunas are big, heavy, and well-made!

HVMN: Visit and use code BENG20 for 20% off any purchase of Ketone-IQ️. This is an exclusive offer for podcast listeners. You can now find HVMN in California Earthbar locations (located within Equinox).

Kion Aminos: Aminos are building blocks for muscle recovery, reduced cravings, better cognition, immunity, and more. Go to to receive 20% off on monthly deliveries and 10% on one-time purchases.

Boundless Parenting Book: Everything you need to know about family, parenting, and raising healthy, resilient, free-thinking, and impactful children. Go to and pre-order your copy now.

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

Related Posts

14 thoughts on “The Latest News About the Feel Free Energy Drink, The Problem With Dosing, How To Use Feel Free Properly & A New Feel Free Capsule That Solves Any Problems You May Have Had With Feel Free.

  1. William howard says:

    The lack of criticality when discussing this tonic containing Kratom is nothing less than alarming. The first things I think of is the recent epidemic of pharmaceutical opioid abuse, and not long after that the heavy introduction of fentanyl to the illicit drug market. Our country is suffering from addiction and abuse of opioids and this is little touched on beyond saying it feels good, of course it’s addictive.

    I should mention I’ve used Kratom and kava in their plant forms for many years, always taking breaks for tolerance to avoid the worst of the side effects. I think Kratom is a wonderful plant myself, but the extracts can be quite easy to overdo and become addicted to. Feel free doesn’t just have powdered Kratom, it has both mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which target the my opioid receptor site.

    Whereas the raw powdered plant of Kratom can be somewhat addicting, 7-hydroxymitragynine has been shown to produce quite strong physical addiction and withdrawal symptoms. [1]
    While the actual physical withdrawal symptoms are rather tame compared to stronger agonists, it also has several mental affects which can essentially lead to emotional instability. Combined with kavas anxiolytic effects this can lead someone with a form of an anxiety disorder to find this product severely addicting.

    While I think this product shouldn’t be regulated, the way it’s advertised seems deceptive. Quickly browsing feel frees website will render you no mention of the potential of addiction. Furthermore if you google can I drink feel free with alcohol it recommends to not use excessive alcohol with it, clicking the link will take you to the faq where I failed to see this misguided information. Kava consumed with alcohol is known to cause liver damage if done in excessive amounts OR regularly. [2] Another thing that made me question how this is being marketed is everything about the drink will call it a kava drink, Kratom is only mentioned seldomly, most likely due to the negative associations it has gained.

    Well this is getting longer than I anticipated so I’ll dj by repeating that I do not think this product needs regulation. With the target demographic I most often see this advertised to (advertisements directed at college students is how I originally found it), and the potential risks from overdose and withdrawal, a question of ethics arises. I think the simplest solution is to add a warning about the potential hepatoxicity, advise against consumption with alcohol, and to address it’s addictive nature ( which is not just for addictive personalities, Kratom is physically addictive).



    1. William, can you explain to the audience here a bit more about powdered Kratom vs. mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, and why that differentiation would be important?

      1. william howard says:

        The most important distinction that can be made between the extracts of the primary alkaloids and the raw plant material is the diversity of action between them. Raw kratom leaf will contain more alkaloids, some of which will inhibit the actions of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine which as mostly agonists (activating) at opioid receptor sites, with minor antagonistic effects and competition for binding. So the pure extracts don’t have the self regulation that the powdered leaf does.

        This is a direct quote from the Kratom Herald, which cited its sources well.

        “Essentially, Paynantheine, Speciociliatine, and Speciogynine bind to and block the mu opioid receptor, inhibiting the ability of Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine to bind to and activate the mu opioid receptor.”

        The feel free tonic, containing extracts of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine and only a small amount of raw kratom leaf is going to activate the opioid receptors much more strongly than powdered leaf. Which can lead to stronger respiratory depression, the possibility of a stronger “high”, and much more likely to cause withdrawals.,bind%20to%20and%20activate%20the%20mu%20opioid%20receptor.

        1. I checked into this and JW Ross reported they are NOT somehow extracting and adding “extra” of both mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine in addition to the raw kratom


          We just recently finished/passed a four week FDA Audit of our product and our production plant.
          They mentioned seeing comments in social media about us having kava extracts or other hidden substances.
          We asked them if anyone had given them any lab analysis that showed this in that we knew they had not.
          The FDA in their audit went back through every batch and reviewed all our records on base ingredients and did finished product.
          They used the formula and tied down all our purchases to how it wound up in finished product.
          They also reviewed all our COAs and took samples of all our retains of both raw ingredients and finished product and did their own testing.
          In addition they reviewed all our manufacturing processes for GPM standards.
          As far as I know we are the only product in this space that has passed this type of FDA Audit.

          We do have on our packaging and on our website warning and usage statements and we have it on our website and social media in several places.
          Note the FDA did a full review also of all our packaging and marketing and gave us feedback on suggested changes which we have done.

          We have voluntarily set up monthly reviews as of last month with the FDA to go over everything and look for ways to continue to improve.

          If you would like to verify any of this we can send you any documentation you need. Also if ANYONE would like to visit our plant and see anything 1st hand we can set up a tour.

          Lastly we are conducting full clinical trials this year at a cost of over $2M that will study, abuse potential, function and safety and will be publishing the results once it’s completed.

          1. william howard says:

            Well that is actually a relief, with how popular this product is getting.
            If everything is as above board as it seems, they can see the safety of kratom with its self regulation due to containing agonists and antagonists. Along with kavas rich history of consumption it would seem to be a fairly safe product.

            I suppose my only gripe now, holding a bottle in my hand, is the warning labels on it seem inadequate to me. I am a proponent for full decriminalization of all drugs, however with a caveat; that information about them is easily accessible and widely distributed. Knowledge is power as they say, and to allow people to be truly free in the decisions they make they should be well informed.

            Thanks for having the open conversation with me about this subject, hopefully other people can find it useful.

          2. He said over next 2 months they are redoing the labels too!

  2. Wynne Walker says:

    I cannot recommend this company; buyer beware!

    I have tons of online subscriptions I receive every month, and Feel Free is the only one that doesn’t send an email ahead of the renewal to allow you the opportunity to adjust the subscription (delay, skip, etc.). They only email you after the product has already shipped when it’s too late to change. Life is busy and all subscriptions need a simple way to adjust to our busy lifestyles.

    I emailed customer service, and they refused to acknowledge the problem and refused to refund my money. If anyone knows how to reach JW please let me know.

    PS: Their website does not allow reviews to be left since the end of 2022, their Facebook page does not allow reviews, and their Instagram account does not allow responses to post … seems fishy.

  3. Bryan says:

    Hi Ben,
    Feel Free looks like a very interesting product. Will it be available in Canada any time soon?

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      Great question Bryan. Please “feel free” (see what I did there?) to contact their team directly and they’ll be more than happy to help with this and any other questions you might have: [email protected] ⌨ or call (310)905-7886 📞

  4. Bouncing says:

    Hi Ben, I hope you are well.

    I have yet to listen to this podcast, due to pressure of work, but the mention of Kratom caught my eye, and I wanted to ask…

    Isn’t Kratom addictive?

    I ask, because I have a friend who has an addictive personality, and wanted to recommend something to wean him off alcohol and coke and wanted your opinion on its dangers

    Obviously, I don’t want to make things worse, but better – your opinion would be appreciated – thanks

    1. Nick says:

      Yes, kratom is certainly addictive. Clean, full-spectrum is less addictive and harmful than most isolate extracts on the market though. Feel Free is nothing like your gas station kratom. Your friend is better off using pure kava. Kratom is difficult for those with addictive personalities.

  5. Derik Cree says:

    I wanted to order this to give t a try and I tried ordering both the tonic and capsules and for both when I get to the shipping part of the check out process it says it can’t be shipped to my address and to remove from cart to complete the order, which obviously makes no sense as there would be no order. Is this limited on what states it can be shipped to? I couldn’t find anything on their website and you guys didn’t mention it in the podcast at all, any help would be appreciated. Thanks


    1. Derik Cree says:

      Shoot, forgot to mention I live in Wisconsin

    2. Ben Greenfield says:

      hey Derik, please “feel free” (see what I did there?) to contact their team directly and they’ll be more than happy to help with this and any other questions you might have: [email protected] ⌨ or call (310)905-7886 📞

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *